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Is Becoming a Medical Office Assistant the Right Career For You?

By: Kailash Srinivasan

Published On: October 7, 2019

Take this Fun Quiz to find out if you have what it takes to be a medical office assistant

We meet them every time we go to a hospital or a clinic. We have interacted with them several times, and yet we rarely acknowledge their importance. The first smile we see when we go to a medical establishment is that of a medical office assistant (MOA). Very rarely would have any of us met a grumpy, sullen MOA, who has an attitude or doesn’t answer our questions politely. Did you know most MOAs go to school to do a medical office assistant course? Qualified, experienced MOAs do a great job in making our experience much more pleasant. Read this blog to learn more about the roles and responsibilities of MOAs.

What do Medical Office Assistants do?

We always see them behind their desks typing away patient details, looking for some information or the other on the computer or answering calls after calls. What else do they do? Medical Office Assistants handle several other responsibilities.

– Greet patients – Stationed at the front desk, they greet patients with the biggest smile. They maintain a friendly yet professional demeanour, be it over the phone or in person. They assist patients with filling forms if any; check their insurance information; update patient records, and so on.

– Schedule bookings – They schedule patient appointments based on the availability of a doctor. The procedure will be different for a regular patient, versus someone new and may be done over the phone, by email or in person.

– Prepare for the visit – Before the patient visits, especially if it’s a regular patient, MOAs will confirm scheduled appointments with them and have their records ready before their visit. They also assist with referrals if patients need to see a specialist for things like scans, blood tests and other types of testing, analysis or treatment. They also coordinate things like getting the x-ray reports back to the doctor.

– Prep the patient – Before or after bringing the patient to their exam room, MOAs may need to measure their height, weight, take their blood pressure before the appointment.

– Contact –  MOAs need to stay in regular touch with patients, suppliers, insurance companies; process and prepare medical files and manage daily administrative tasks. They also ensure that all the office and medical supplies and equipment are up-to-date.

It’s a job that requires multiple skills and is perfect for those who love working in a fast-paced environment. If you’re able to handle stress and can deal with different kinds of people, becoming an MOA might be the right profession for you.

Once an individual completes a medical office assistant diploma along with a practicum from a Canadian college, they can start working in a variety of environments, including general and specialty hospitals, clinics, and other medical settings.

On the surface, it may seem like there isn’t much difference between a medical office assistant and an office assistant, but there is. A medical office assistant’s job has more serious consequences since patients are involved. Moreover, since MOAs also know medical terminologies that they learn in their medical office assistant diploma program, they are much more sought after.

Most of the medical office assistant courses and programs in Canada ensure students have all the knowledge and practical work experience they will need to be successful in medical environments.

Take this Fun Quiz to find out if you have what it takes to be a medical office assistant.


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